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Demi Burnett Defends Heather Martin Against ‘Bachelor’ Return Backlash (Exclusive)

Demi Burnett addressed Heather Martin’s upcoming return to The Bachelor on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast, declaring it “ridiculous” for any of Matt Jamescontestants to be upset about the California native potentially joining the cast.

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Heather, who competed alongside Demi on Colton Underwood’s season 23 of The Bachelor, appeared in the promo at the end of the Monday, January 4, premiere of season 25. In the teaser, one of the women declares, “You already had your f—king shot at a Bachelor, like, go home” after the 25-year-old model surprises Matt, 29.

Demi Burnett Defends Heather Martin Against Bachelor Return Backlash
Demi Burnett and Heather Martin MediaPunch/Shutterstock; ABC/Craig Sjodin

“I would come back too if they asked me, like, duh! And I know that you would too because you signed up to be on this show in the first place,” Demi, 25, said on the podcast. “And they’re gonna blame Heather? Like Heather had anything to do with it. Like Heather said, ‘I want to sabotage this show?’ Heather’s the sweetest girl ever. She would be so helpful. So, I’m like, ‘Why are you upset about this?’ This makes no sense to me. I don’t know. It was just immature to me, but we’ll see what happens.”

Related: Meet the Women Vying for Bachelor Matt James' Heart

The Bachelor in Paradise alum added that Heather is like “family” to her.

“I don’t talk to Heather all the time, but, like, whenever we do talk, it’s all good. We catch right back up to where we were. I absolutely adore her,” Demi said. “I didn’t know she was gonna be on this season. I had heard rumors about it. But I didn’t know for sure. And, like, I don’t want to pry and ask when, you know what, I can just find out with everyone else. It’s OK. I’m excited to see her on. But I saw her crying and I’ve never seen her cry before. And so, I’m really concerned about who I’m gonna have to beat up!”

While it’s unclear how well Heather and Matt know each other, they are both friends with Hannah Brown, who was also on Colton’s season before she was named the season 15 Bachelorette. The former Miss Alabama met Matt through her runner-up, Tyler Cameron, who went to college with the Florida native.

ABC exec Robert Mills teased Heather’s arrival on Ringer’s “The Bachelor Recap” podcast on Tuesday, January 5.

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“She felt for sure this was her husband and basically did anything she could to get there and track him down,” Mills told cohost Julia Cunningham.

The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET. For Demi’s complete recap of Matt’s premiere, listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast!

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